Premier flags 'significant' Vic steps

Roger Vaughan
·2-min read

Victoria is being promised "really significant" steps back to normality when Premier Daniel Andrews details the next phase of the state's coronavirus roadmap.

Sunday's announcement is already set to confirm the end of the 25km Melbourne travel limit and the scrapping of the "ring of steel" separating the city from regional Victoria.

But Mr Andrews said on Friday he would also outline plans for the rest of this month.

"They will be big steps, they'll get us much closer to normal than we've been for six or seven months, which is very significant," he said.

Victoria has now gone seven days without any new coronavirus deaths or cases, and on Monday direct international flights will resume from New Zealand into Melbourne.

They will be the first international flights into Melbourne since June 30.

Last month, the premier was unimpressed when travellers were able to arrive in Melbourne via Sydney from New Zealand, despite Victoria not then being part of the trans-Tasman bubble.

On Friday morning, he wrote to the prime minister advising that direct flights are about to resume.

"Whilst we found ourselves kind of inadvertently in the New Zealand bubble - I'm not sure if bubbles have doors, but the front door will now be open," Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews spoke before the noon release of the interim hotel quarantine inquiry report, which proposes that some overseas travellers be able to quarantine at home.

The report also revealed the botched hotel quarantine program had cost $195 million so far.

Also on Friday, Mr Andrews confirmed there would be no large crowds for the November 11 Remembrance Day ceremonies.

He also offered help to Mornington Peninsula Shire council, which has suffered a major backlash to its decision not to allow any foreshore camping until February because of coronavirus concerns.

"It's not about waving your finger from Melbourne ... If however there's something we can do together and that might make other things possible, I'm always happy to do it," Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews stressed that while Victoria is making strong progress, the danger is far from over.

"Zero days are great, but it doesn't mean zero virus," he said.

Friday's Department of Health and Human Services update showed the Melbourne 14-day average also dropped further, from 1.4 to 1.3.

There remain two mystery cases in Melbourne and none in regional areas.

It is the first time since February that Victoria has had such a streak of no deaths or new cases.